Lessons From the Conference: Part 1

Conference Photo

ACFW buddies and me at CTW conference

Phew! It’s been a whirlwind ten days since the Called to Write conference I attended April 1-2. I had a great time! I couldn’t have picked a better conference to for my first time. Everyone was laid back and so friendly. I met a few published authors, some ladies from the Heart of American Christian Writers group, and one very helpful agent. I met a lot of people at various stages of their writing career. Many were unpubbed like me, some had agents but no contract. One was a multi-published author by a small press, but looking for an agent. Wow! I’d love to be published even by a small press.

The seminars were amazing! I took so many notes my hand cramped. Terry Burns gave the opening keynote speech on if you’re called to write of if your writing is an offering. Such a different perspective on writing. I’ve always felt that I’m called to write, but wondered if that was true because things weren’t happening like I imagined.  But if you’re called to write it can be a longer process. That’s because God still has to prepare you and your manuscript until they’re BOTH ready. Just like God prepared Jesus for his three years of ministry, or Moses, or Abraham. In today’s fast-paced, gotta-have-it-now society preparation is often rushed. I’ve been guilty of sending out queries just to send them out. Anyone can tell you I’m not the most patient person. But God’s gotta teach me somehow, right?

After the speech I had a critique with Terry Burns. I was super nervous, but his laid back attitude put me at ease. He had a lot of great tips, especially about the young adult genre I’m currently writing in. I’d sent him a couple of chapters and he emailed them to me with comments before the conference. I’d been working with my critique partner on deep POV. So I worked up the courage to show him my revised intro. And he asked for a proposal! This time I didn’t rush to send it out. In fact, I’m still working on it. But it’s almost ready to go and I hope to send it out this week. Hopefully Terry will like it and be receptive. He is one of the top agents for unpubbed writers. Only God knows what will happen with it. But it’s been a great learning process. And I’ll have a polished proposal on hand when I need it.

Tomorrow I’ll write more about my meeting with Terry. I’ve even got a picture! I plan to continue to post lessons from the conference. There’s so many!

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